Category: r.i.p.


Jo_CoxThis is a blog post in defence of a tweet I wrote this morning which read as follows:  “In honour of Jo Cox & in opposition to the haters & racists, Brits must vote remain on 23/6″

In an excellent article in The Guardian, Polly Toynbee wrote of the “corrosive” anger aroused by the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain remains or leaves the EU.The venomous reaction to my tweet could be construed as evidence of this. Here are a sample of the numerous comments I received:

  • You really are despicable – exploiting her death for political gain
  • Your comment is absolutely disgraceful and shames the Remain campaign
  • You are a heartless, opportunistic ghoul.
  • Shit for brains.

I stand by what I wrote but feel motivated to explain / defend myself beyond the 140 character limit. Continue reading

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VIRGINIA WOOLF biography by Hermione Lee (Vintage Books, 1996)

leeVirginia Woolf’s life story is one that is continually being re-evaluated. After all, it was fully  two decades after her suicide in 1941 before she began to be more widely acknowledged as a literary great and a feminist icon.

Even so, there are still far too many (mostly male) detractors who will routinely belittle the achievements of Woolf. Hermione Lee recalls that as a student she was taught to regard her as a “minor modernist”, not fit to be ranked alongside Joyce, T.S. Eliot or D.H. Lawrence.

She also recounts a revealing (and humorous) story of a St Ives bookseller who decided to take advantage of Woolf’s association with one of her former homes but only had a vague idea of who she was. He put up a sign which read : ‘Talland House. Home of Virginia Woolf, wife of the famous novelist”. Continue reading

KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK directed by Brett Morgen (USA, 2015)

€12 is a bit steep for the price of a cinema ticket but this was billed as an ‘event’ rather than a straight movie so in the spirit of the theme I thought ‘What the heck!’

The montage of the movie’s title comprises a plethora of mostly unseen home movie footage. This gives the dubious privilege of watching Kurt Cobain grow up in public, starting out as a cute kid and ending as a jaded junky.

Debates will rage about when it all started to go wrong. Was it when his parents divorced?, Was it all down to his addiction to hard drugs? Was it his inability to cope with Nevermind’s overnight success? or Was it mitigated by his relationship with Courtney Love?

You could make a strong case that it was all or none of these.

The reality is that Cobain seemed to be born with a suicidal gene and the images essentially serve as a chronicle of a death foretold. You only have to see the scrawled writings and drawings to see how he lived and died as a tortured soul that those around him witnessed but were incapable of curing. Continue reading

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD directed by Sidney Lumet (USA, 2007)

before-the-devil-knowsSadly, this movie title now seems more than a little ironic.

It comes from a Irish proverb (“May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead”)  and turned out to be Lumet’s swan song (he died in 2011) as well as being one of a long list of films that stand as testament to the greatness of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

To say that it is a story of a dysfunctional family is a massive understatement.

Hoffman plays Andy Hanson who bullies younger brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) into carrying out the botched robbery of a ‘mom and pop’ store and Albert Finney is the overbearing father who discovers the horrible truth about his sons. Continue reading

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